Archive for August, 2015

So I’m trying to get back into the swing of writing here.  It’s been a long, long time since I’ve been around.

Let’s try to bring things back up to date.

I finished law school.  That was great.  I graduated, and walked across the stage.  His fuzziness of course walked with me.  Several faculty members personally stopped to congratulate me, since they’ve seen how hard I worked to get there.  My family came, and we celebrated.  It was good.

I moved across the country.  It was a huge move, and it was something of a disaster.  My fiance was working at a site for the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth because frankly, we were in the red, and we needed the money badly.  I was sicker than I’d been in the past, so absolutely useless at getting things packed to leave.  Things just didn’t get packed, lots of things got left behind, we lost our entire deposit on our apartment because of stuff that didn’t get cleared out.  My dad and my fiance drove our car and our pet dog across the country, which I admit I was a bit paranoid about, even though they get along well.  They did fine, though.

My fiance finally got a long-term job.  He’s in academia, and he’d been working one-year positions for the 3 years prior to getting this job.  It’s the main reason we moved across the country, though the climate here is much kinder to me.  It’s amazing to finally have him at a stable, tenure-track job, where he doesn’t have to worry about where he’s working next year.  It’s at a community college rather than a 4-year school, but I think it’s a great fit for him because the college is focused on social justice and accessibility.  Besides, at a community college, he doesn’t have to deal with the publish-or-perish culture of 4-year colleges, and he can focus on his real job: teaching.

Hudson and I are still doing good.  I think he may need to retire next summer; he’ll be 9 and will have served as my partner for 7 years.  I actually had thought last summer that Hudson might have needed to retire now, but when we got to a place with gentler weather and I started being able to do a bit more, he perked up.  I’ve got about 8 months to decide whether he retires next summer; we’ll see how he’s doing closer to the date.

I haven’t taken the bar exam yet, because I’ve been having health problems.  My autoimmune disorder has been diagnosed as Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disorder (UCTD).  That’s basically medical jargon for ‘your immune system is attacking you, but it’s not behaving like any of the more specific conditions, like Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis.’  I’m not sure if my autoimmune problems keep getting worse, or I just keep adjusting too well to my medications.  I’ve been on methotrexate (a chemotherapy drug) since the start of December.  While it made a big difference at first, and it has definitely kept the swelling down, I’m still in a lot of pain.  I’m still trying to figure out how much is the autoimmune disorder, and whether I have fibromyalgia, and what to do about the day-to-day pain I’m in.  I meditate, I stretch, I gently exercise, but I hurt enough that it makes it hard for me to do much of anything.  I hate that – I didn’t go through all that work to get through law school, not to mention all the debt, to not be able to actually practice law!  I haven’t even been able to sit the bar exam, because it’s a huge exam.  3 days, 8 hours each day.  I get extra time because of the problems with my hands and my back, time and a half, so that’s 36 hours of tests.  I just can’t sit up long enough to do that, and that absolutely kills me.

I had my gallbladder removed in March.  I believe the reason my gallbladder had to be removed was the years of living with undiagnosed autoimmune issues.  My liver had been affected by it, and I suspect it attacked my gallbladder, too.  I’m so frustrated, and the more we do to deal with my autoimmune issues, the angrier I get about the rheumatologist who kept swearing that I didn’t have autoimmune issues.  I also get angry at myself – I think, why didn’t I seek a second opinion?  So many of my symptoms looked like autoimmune issues, and I let him convince me that they weren’t because he was kind.

I suppose that’s really all that’s been going on.  I knit, and I read, and sometimes I write, and I surf the net and watch TV, and some days it feels like that’s all I do.  Well, some days, that is all I do.  I just burn to be able to do more.  I really haven’t recovered from how bad things got last summer, and I’m at a spot where I don’t really know what I need to do to recover, beyond trying to slowly work at doing a little more each day.  I need to figure out what to do about my back, and the bursitis in my hips, and a million other little things.  I need to read more and work more on neuroplasticity, and see if I can do something to try to re-program my pain-happy nervous system.  It just feels like such a Sisyphean task some days – I deal with one setback only to have a new one pop up.  Over and over and over, and it is so hard to stay motivated.

But I keep at it, because really, what else am I going to do?  It’d be nice if it didn’t feel quite so futile, though.


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